I took the train to Brighton, a poem
in the making, my clickety-clack ride
without hope or expectation,
wearing the loose pink jumper you knitted me –
how could I know how fitting it was.
O embarrassment! you still tail me
like a shadow today.

Sheffield was pointless, wasn’t it? Not
steel at all, a degree for me in the grim
North as likely as a bad mood in Paris. So
there I was, pavilioned, special
only in my own mind, a body
of art I was sure they’d understand, the astro
chart in acrylic.
On plastic.

It bombed.

Thirty six years are nothing. I listen to disco,
rave at punk, blush so easily
I want to hide,
subsume my self in primeval guilt, much
less a human being, still
less the man you denied me being

© David Barker 2014

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